Blue Fish is a huge fan of Craft CMS. We like it because it makes updating sites easy on our clients, it is secure, and it is a commercial product so we are not worried about the direction. We also like it because of the flexibility it gives our development team. In the last 2 years we have built 60+ websites in Craft making us one of the larger users of Craft. And we are honored to be part of the Craft Partner network.
But one of the set backs of systems like Craft is that it is often only used for highly custom sites. Years ago, when we were one of the top agencies using ExpressionEngine, we tried to create templates for ExpressionEngine. For those of you not familiar with EE. EE is similar to Craft in how it handles content. We launched a website called EETemplates and had half a dozen templates for sale. We were the only ones doing this because EE was not really designed to be used in this manner. Admittedly, the hoops that people had to jump through in order to "install" an EE template was a huge issue. But I have always had it in my mind that we have to make these more mature systems available to the average small business owner. Unlike systems like WordPress, where a majority of the sites are using Themes, systems like Craft have been out of reach for small companies... till now.
We aim to change that. Blue Fish has developed a theme based site for Craft that allows for a lot of flexibility in the look and feel. We are offering this for a small upfront and monthly fee (usually $750 down and $150 a month). As part of this agreement we provide hosting, Craft CMS updates, and any improvements that we make to the theme. This is a perfect option for businesses and other organizations that need a good looking site but don't have tens of thousands of dollars to have a custom site built. We wanted to create a viable platform that offered all of the functionality of our custom sites without the hefty price tag.
This site has customization options for the homepage. We are developing color packs. The sub pages have a page layout builder so you can create the layout you need while we handle the heavy lifting of formatting the content for responsive design. It has a blog that has all of the social tags needed to ensure your site plays well with Facebook, Twitter, etc. These sites are optimized to the hilt. The last few that we checked had a score of 90+ with Google's Pagespeed Insights Test. We built them to help you rank higher in Google since the code that makes up the website is often the most important aspect in ranking.
The other nice thing about this set-up is that our development team has whittled away at the amount of time it takes to create a site. These sites are something that we can have set up on our staging server in about 3 hours. We put them on our staging server for you to play around with and load content before going live.